It’s a fair question: with the 3DS dominating what’s left of the handheld market and mobile devices killing the rest of it, just where does the PS Vita fit these days?
When the Vita made its debut, it already had a fair number of detractors and doubters; the PSP never really made a dent in the handheld market, and even though it came at a great price point, the numerous features of the Vita seemed like overkill. Upon its release, no one could doubt that the launch titles all looked great, but the conversation quickly turned to console-quality graphics, and if that was something we really needed or wanted in handheld gaming.
The system soon hit a snag with several high-profile releases that strived to be console-level experiences, but failed to satisfy both console gamers and handheld gamers. Add to that steep price tags, and Sony had a colossal issue on their hands- an extremely powerful console that was failing to provide actual fun and entertainment. There was a good two years there where output for the system was slim to none. Things seemed grim.
For the past year or two, Sony has fought to realign public perception regarding the Vita. They’ve turned it into a companion system of sorts. Now, whenever you buy a small to medium-size game for your PS3 or 4, you get a copy of it for your VIta free of charge. With cross-saves, you can effectively take your games on the go, and then play on your main system later in the day with all that new progress you’ve made while out and about. It’s a clever idea, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s all the system is capable of being.
Where are the exclusive titles? Where are the experiences you can’t get elsewhere? The 3DS is the giant it is because there are games on it that you can’t play anywhere else – the Zelda remasters, Fire Emblem , and so on. These are the types of experiences that the VIta needs in its library. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Sony is prepared to write off the Vita and is saving these concepts for it’s next handheld system, if there is actually going to be another one of those. It’s up for debate, judging solely on how the Vita has performed financially over the years.
As a fan of the console, I want more games on it, and I want more people out there playing it. Fingers crossed things turn around for Sony’s dark horse system.